A Centuries Old Therapeutic Treatment
Cupping therapy is one of the oldest and most globally practiced medical treatments in human history. In practically every culture worldwide, there is evidence that cupping was an integral part of their medical history. The very earliest record of a cupping instrument used was a gourd. This then evolved to the use of animal horns, bamboo and shells. These instruments created a vacuum, drawing deep into the body, bringing toxic and stagnant fluids from deep within the tissues to the skin’s surface. The belief was that with this type of therapy, you were starting at the most superficial level of the body. By working with the skin, which is the body’s largest organ, healers were able to directly influence the internal health of the body. Once toxins are brought to the surface of the skin, the lymphatic and circulatory systems are then free to excrete their waste products. As the saying goes, the cleanest rivers are the fastest moving.
Cupping Therapy Used Today
There are several different types of cups used today. The most popular type is fire cupping, which involves the use of glass cups. A cotton ball, soaked in alcohol, is lit to produce a large flame, which is then quickly placed inside the cup. This action removes all the oxygen inside of the cup. The cup is then quickly placed on the skin, creating a vacuum to draw the skin within the cup. For those individuals who may not be comfortable with the use of flame, there are silicone and plastic cups that use manual suction to provide the same results.
How Cupping Therapy works
Cupping therapy creates negative pressure, rather than the tissue compression or positive pressure used in traditional massage. By creating negative pressure, cupping releases rigid soft tissue, drains excess fluids and toxins, loosens adhesions, lifts connective tissue and brings blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles. As the toxins are brought to the surface a cupping “mark” will appear in colors ranging from a dark purple to a light pink, but is usually a shade of red. These discolorations are not bruises but are simply a reflection of the stagnation in the area being treated.
Benefits of Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy benefits the skin, muscles, circulatory system, nervous system, digestive system and joints of the body. Pain relief is quick, and long-term injuries and restrictions can be released in one or a few treatments. Cupping has been known to alleviate very acute injuries, pinched nerves, frozen shoulders and chronically tight muscles. Cupping is also very beneficial for many conditions such as high blood pressure, sciatica, insomnia, chronic headaches, colon disorders, anxiety, fatigue, poor circulation, edema, and sports injuries.
What to expect during and after a Cupping Therapy Session
A typical cupping therapy session lasts thirty minutes. The treatment is discussed between therapist and client and tailored to their specific needs. Cupping therapy is very relaxing and sometimes even sedative. With some treatments there can be mild discomfort and itching when working on areas with severe stagnation and tight fascia. The marks involved with cupping will go away in a few hours to 2 weeks depending on the amount of stagnation. Drinking an ample amount of water is recommended for 48-hours following your treatment.
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